Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 5: Tired

This week's theme was extremely challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. I knew from the outset that I didn't want to go with the easy shots, or the obvious. With all of the leaves changing and plants dying it would have been simple to go out and take tired nature photos, but I didn't want to do that. I also had to resist the urge to take pictures of sleeping cats. It's just too easy. I wanted to experiment a lot with flash lighting and try some staged photos. Six of the seven shots this week were lit entirely with flash, and all seven of them were staged shots.

Let me tell you, it's extremely time consuming and difficult to be your own model. You have to set a timer on the camera, get yourself set, take the shot, go back to the camera, realize something was off, reposition the lights, try and get the pose the same, get the pose wrong and start the whole process over about 30 times. Oh well, onto the pictures.

For this first one I took the obvious route and I just wanted to play around with light contrast. I feathered the edge of the flash so that it was just hitting my face. The great thing about using flash is that, in this shot, it's actually fairly light in the living room, but the flash can overpower the daylight in the room. It gives me a lot more flexibility when I don't have to worry about the ambient light in a room.
As soon as I found out the theme for this week I wanted to do a staged photo like this. It took a lot of time playing around with lighting it different ways, but I think I'm happy with it. This shot taught me that staging photos is an entirely different beast to taking organic shots. There's always something you can change, so it takes forever and by the end you're not sure if you got the best shot, or if you could change something else.
I took this shot at about 2:30 in the morning. I had tried to go to bed, and failed, so I decided to take a 'tired sitting in front of the computer monitor shot'. I wanted to see if I could replicate the computer light by using a flash. If I used the computer light I would have to sit very still and use a slow shutter speed. It's not a fantastic photo, but what do you expect from 2:30 in the morning.
Another kind of obvious sleeping shot. This one took a while to set up and was lit entirely by flash. My goal was to try and simulate sunlight. This was a rare instance where the photo actually kind of matched what I had in my head.
I've had many nights like this photo, really tired, but unable to sleep, so you toss and turn on the couch. This was the only shot of the week not lit with a flash. All of the light is coming off of the flash.
After doing the scotch picture I knew that I wanted to do this next one. For those that don't know, this is pretty much the logo to the Mad Men TV show. I tried to match the posture and look of the photo as much as possible, then I just used some fill in Photoshop to recreate the effect. If I had more lights I would try and achieve the effect more naturally, by backlighting to get most of the image in darkness, then putting some small flashes on the collar and the cuff to lighten those up. Maybe someday I'll try that.
I call this one "Evolution Makes me Sleepy". This was a fun one, but possibly took the most work of all of them. I had to shoot the five different shots and then do a fair amount of editing to get them all to match seamlessly.

1 comment:

  1. On #3, I can't stop thinking, "David Cross."

    Yes, that's a compliment.